Kendra's Reviews > Where Things Come Back

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
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's review
Sep 24, 12

really liked it

This is kind of an odd book but still one I really enjoyed. Anything with a woodpecker on the cover I am probably going to like. My husband and I were excited yesterday to see several red-headed woodpeckers while on our daily walk, so bird are one of my "things." :)

Anyway, this is the story of teenaged Cullen Witter whose younger brother Gabriel disappears one day from their small town in Arkansas. This just happens to coincide with some madness their town is experiencing due to a possible sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker which was previously believed to be extinct. The disappearance is maddening not just for Cullen but the whole town who can't imagine how a teenager can disappear from their safe haven without any trace.

The weird part of this book is that occasionally the narrative leaves Cullen and AR to follow Benton, a missionary who questions his mission...not just to Africa but in life. Although I know some readers are troubled by dramatically shifting narratives, I felt like both storylines were engaging, and I enjoyed the questions I was forced to ponder while reading about Benton. Do events in our lives have to have meaning? Is faith all there is? Hmm...I think there are definitely lots of options for great discussions about this book.

Things all come together eventually at the end, and I found the story's conclusion satisfactory which is very important to me. As I'm typing this, I'm remembering things a little more fondly and would go wit ha 4 1/2 if that was allowed here.

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